WIGGINS, MS (WLOX) - Some Wiggins residents want to show tourists their town is a beautiful place to stop in. For some time now, drivers have been seeing old stop signs in the city slowly being replaced with new decorative ones thanks to the efforts of one dedicated resident.
Now, more people are joining the cause, and in two weeks will launch a fundraising campaign called the Street Sign Project to try to get the new signs up citywide.
These days, Wiggins drivers say coming to a stop sign makes for a pleasant drive around town.
"I think it's really enhanced Wiggins' look. I think we look more welcoming. I think it's a great idea, and I'm looking forward to what it will look like whenever it's finished up," said business owner April Kostmayer.
So far, about 100 new signs and sign posts have gone up. It is all thanks to the commitment of Wiggins resident Allen Walters.
"He himself, by himself, has raised $100,000 to have these signs put within the city limits of Wiggins," said Douglas Smith, member of the Neighborhood Watchdogs. "He has pretty much, I think, felt like he's exhausted himself of doing it. So, the neighborhood watch group, the Watchdogs, we decided we would take the project and try to raise an additional $75,000 which we feel like will finish the signage within the city limits."
The Neighborhood Watchdogs say they want to take up the torch and finish the Street Sign Project by buying another 100 signs. The volunteers need the community's donations, because each post costs about $800. They said not only are the signs beautiful, but they also help make it easier for visitors and others to find their way around Wiggins.
"When you see these they're much more visible. The streets are much better identified," said Smith. "There's one down there that has the 'library' on it, and it has a sign pointing that way. Probably as other signs are put up, if there are points of interest on that street where that sign goes that could possibly be added to the sign to help identify that."
On Tuesday, Sept. 9, a fundraiser will be held at First United Methodist Church in Wiggins. The event will include food, entertainment and a roasting of Allen Walters, the man who got the stop sign project started. Tickets are $10 and can be purchased at Wiggins City Hall, Stone County Economic Development Partnership, Sawmill Restaurant, Bank of Wiggins, The First Peoples Bank and Southern National Bank.
For more information, call Suzy Guthrie at 601-408-3493 or Douglas Smith at 601-916-2333.